TMT’S FINAL INSTALLMENT ON THE PHILIPPINE FASHION WEEK SERIES
As the Philippine Fashion Week (PhFW) Spring/Summer 2014 (SS14) concluded in October at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City, The Manila Times was witness to the exciting upcoming trends in the world of fashion.
While many style from last summer—sheer cloths, graphic prints, vibrant florals and shiny appliqués—will stay on in 2014, there will be brand new looks that are unique to the country, as well as trends that are influenced by international runways.
Almost 70 Filipino fashion designers—from young and aspiring to established and legendary—showcased the products of their creative minds and skillful hands to give stylish Filipinos a taste of SS14.
Textiles and weaves
The use of local textiles like piña and indigenous weaves like t’nalak was highlighted at the recent PhFW. While staying true to local fashion, many designers also presented contemporary forms to make the look wearable for everyday.
Visions and Trends designers Happy Andrada and Jaki Peñalosa were the very first to reveal modern Filipiniana attires. The young Andrada continued to prove her youthful and fun approach to fashion with her collection, “Blushed.”
“Blushed is a fresh and feminine mash-up of light pastel fabrics tied with bows and tailored in elegant silhouettes. I used hand-woven local fabrics such as abaca, pineapple, pineapple silk, pineapple crepe, Philippine dupioni, jusi, bamboo and waterlily, which have all been treated with natural dye,” she counted off. Peñalosa, on the other hand, focused on piña abaca. And while Andrada’s clothes were more casual, Peñalosa’s were more chic. “I combined this [piña abaca] with linen, preserving the unique qualities of the local material and yet crafting chic day-to-night looks for the modern Filipina.”
The proud Pinoy moment continued at the Luxe Wear fashion show on Day 4 thanks to designers Delby Bragais, Ronald Mendoza and Ronaldo Arnaldo.
“Global ethnicity is the theme of my collection this season,” said Bragais. To do this, she used t’nalak as an appliqué to her dresses that mixed colors of purple, orange, yellow, fuchsia and green.
As for Mendoza, he used jusi, a mix of piña and silk, and two types of modern cuts. “First come the skin-baring, figure-sculpting pieces, which I consider the basic blocks: midriff tops, racer backs, bralets, and tube tops in muted tones of beige, stone, and amber. Then there are the loosely-silhouetted pieces, such as the tunics, circular skirts, culottes, and wide-leg pants,” he described.
Finally, Arnaldo presented a modern piña collection comprised of two-piece attires and cocktail dresses. His color palette included off-white shades and various blues with black line accents in clean silhouettes.
Bomber jackets and blazers
Bomber jackets were originally flight jackets used by American pilots in the 1960s. Today, it has become casual wear and modernized using new materials besides its original nylon, as well as sporting new cuts and forms.
Somehow, bomber jackets found their way to the local SS14 runway but no one was complaining because the PhFW designers chose lightweight materials like cotton and silk on their takes. As a result, the cover up allowed for a shift from day to night fashion.
During the Ready-To-Wear show on Day 4, the esteemed Arnold Galang revealed a royal blue bomber jacket matched with a paisley white satin romper. “Highly influenced by the exquisite Mediterranean art and landscape, I made use of a palette of white, black, and Mediterranean blue this season,” he said.
Always experimental Veejay Floresca presented a sporty collection via his neutral bomber jacket over a contrasting flowing skirt with a thigh-high slit. Floresca said, “The utilitarian elements I’ve incorporated in my pieces are perfect for women who have an active lifestyle.”
The bomber jacket trend also appeared during the Menswear segment with M Barretto utilizing the original look with wrist- and waistbands, but with a printed bodice and big buttons. Staple black or white blazers were made edgy with Jun Jun Cambe’s studded piece that had cutout sleeves, and MW Melchor’s vintage print.
In Richie Bondoc’s “Bleached” collection for RTW, he presented an all-white collection, whose stand out was a cropped top with high-collar and paneling detail. He paired this with an above-the knee skirt in the same detail.
Oz Go’s short blouse on the other hand was very chic in big multicolored stripes. He completed the look with an elegant high-waist, pleated skirt in neutral tone.
Meanwhile, dresses were constructively accented with all kinds of cutouts from simple to intricate. At the Grand Allure show, Dave Ocampo revealed a showstopper cocktail dress with orange and pink patchworks. The highlight of the dress was inverted, pentagonal cutout just above the chest. A daring cutout from Anthony Ramirez made a black evening dress not just edgy but also very sexy.
And finally, for Eric delos Santos’ very graphic collection, he showcased that both trends can be combined in a single attire thanks to his cropped top mini-bra with small diamond cutouts on the side. This eye-catching piece was made from graffiti-printed fabric and paired with a long, floral skirt.
Long trains and capes
Trains and capes were the very last trends introduced at PhFW SS14. Another hot item in for the Fall season, many dresses from the designers’ collections looked to the international runways for inspiration.
Favorite couturier of celebrities Jerome Salaya Ang put more drama on a Lady Gaga-looking midi-dress with a very long and sleek train.
Edwin Uy, who showcased this style on the Grand Allure catwalk said, “In crafting my collection this season, from the formal gowns and cocktail dresses to the fun and colorful beachwear, I referenced the diversity of the Moroccan culture. I used jersey and chiffon in yellow, orange, aqua blue, purple, green, and pink, wanting my wearers to feel comfortable and fresh during summer, while still looking chic and elegant.” As a twist, many of his creations had long flowing chiffon trains for dreamy effect.
“Inspired by the American sitcom The Flying Nun, Yako Reyes’ collection for RTW made the classic train a contemporary piece when he sewed it on the side of a peach-colored dress.
Designers Martin Bautista and Randall Solomon both attached capes on what would have been everyday white dresses.
Bautista related, “My collection Cecile 1986 is dedicated to today’s modern women, as I offer them a sartorial series that will make them feel put-together and confident, regardless of what they’re doing.”
He added that his designs were meant to be “second-skin armor” for women to accomplish their day-to-day responsibilities. Seeing how a cape looked right on a corporate attire was proof that the designer achieved his goal.
As for Solomon, a nude gown looked more exquisite thanks to various embellishments including a one-sided, floor-gazing cape, texturized materials, beaded lace, tulle and chiffon. His collection was named aptly “Floradise.”